STUDENT PLAYWRITING CHALLENGE

Play with words

PLAY WITH WORDS - ANNUAL STUDENT PLAYWRITING CHALLENGE

2nd ANNUAL Student PLAYWRITING CHALLENGE

The mission of the Phillips’ Mill Community Association (PMCA) is to promote the arts and preserve the artistic and cultural heritage of Bucks County. The PMCA is committed to the active endorsement of the tenets of diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of what we do as an organization and for all program participants.

In harmony with that mission, the Phillips' Mill Drama Committee established "Play with Words," a juried one-act playwriting challenge for students in grades 7 to 12.

On Sunday, March 3, 2024, at 3 pm, we will celebrate the student playwrights whose winning plays were selected to be read on the stage at Phillips’ Mill by actors in front of a live audience. Friends and family and teachers are welcome. The playwrights will also receive a cash prize of $100.00 and a commentary of their work written by the jurists. Visit the Phillips' Mill events calendar for more info.

2024 Winning Plays

Congratulations to this year's winning student playwrights. Join us on March 3rd for the reading of the winning plays. Click Here for more info and to RSVP.

“I Spy”
Finn Anderson, Upper Dublin High School, Grade 12

“The Finale of the Magnolia Tree”
Matilda Bray, Solebury School, Grade 12

“The Great Bake Fiasco”
Corinne Brintnall, Tohickon Middle School, Grade 7

“The Calamity Crew”
Saskia Cooper, Pennington School, Grade 10

“Supernatural”
Srikar Pothuraju, West Windsor High School, Grade 11

“The Blame Game”
Avigail Wus, Pennsbury High School, Grade 9

Finn Anderson

Finn Anderson is a young playwright based in Montgomery County. He finds inspiration in the abstract and submerges himself into the unknown in an attempt to uncover the truth in his writing. Anderson plans to attend a four-year university for Creative Writing and English.

Matilda Bray

Matilda Bray is a poet, writer, and advocate for children’s literacy. Her second book of poetry was published in March 2023 through Moonstone Press. Her work has been published in Open Door Magazine, the Schuylkill Valley Journal, Neshaminy Journal, Rattle, and more.

Corinne Brintnall

Corinne is a 7th-grade student who lives in Bucks County. She loves to draw, paint, color and do crafts. Every year around Thanksgiving or Christmas, Corinne writes a play for her family to perform. In her free time, she enjoys playing outside, writing and drawing comics, crocheting and spending time with her older sister. She has been in a number of plays with her acting class and she also loves to sing.

Saskia Cooper

Saskia was born in Westminster, England, in 2007 and moved to Princeton, New Jersey, in 2011.  She is a sophomore at the Pennington School. Saskia is a devoted member of her school’s theatre program working in costumes and acting. She prides her work for being fun and ridiculous while still being moving. “The Calamity Crew” is her first official work.

Srikar Pothuraju

Srikar has always been very interested in plays and films. The sound of dialogue and the magic of drama unfolding before his eyes never fail to mesmerize him. He is eager to explore the nuances of human emotion, and his creative journey is fueled by a relentless pursuit of the artistry that transforms words into unforgettable moments. This black belt also takes an interest in competitive tennis, football, and biology.

Avigail Wus

Avigail is a freshman at Pennsbury High School, where she enjoys participating in theater and her school’s debate club. Outside of school, she is an avid reader who writes in her spare time. “The Blame Game” is her first attempt at playwriting, and she would like to thank her parents, her sister Ana, and her grandparents for always supporting her throughout her endeavors. She wishes to thank Mrs. Rowlands and Mrs. Pesature from Quarry Hill for supporting her writing journey.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS
SEPTEMBER 11, 2023 – JANUARY 15, 2024

Following the success of our Emerging Playwright Competition for adults, we felt the need to include the students in our community. It is our belief that participating in "Play with Words" will help students find their voice, enhance learning, promote creative thinking and improve literary skills. Our vision is for all students to learn to express themselves through the arts thereby fostering positive, active community members who find success, confidence and acceptance.

The first 50 blind submissions received during September 11, 2023 – January 15, 2024 midnight by students in grades 7-12 attending school within 25 miles of New Hope, Pa. will be considered. Our panel of judges will evaluate all blind scripts, provide a commentary for all plays and select the winners.

Contest Rules

  • All work will be original and unpublished
  • Participants will be in 7th through 12th grades and currently enrolled in a public, private, charter or home school within a 25 mile radius of New Hope, Pa.
  • Playwrights under the age of 18 are asked to provide consent from a parent or guardian to participate. An e-signature consent is attached to the entry form.
  • Playwrights will submit one play only.
  • Scripts can be of any genre, will not exceed 12 pages, have two to six roles and should have a running time of 10 minutes or less.
  • Scripts will follow standard play formatting as in the American Standard Playwriting Format. At the least: one-inch margins, 12-point font, character names capitalized, stage directions in italics, and page numbers included. For more information, please follow this link to American Standard Playwriting Format: http://www.caryplaywrightsforum.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/CPF_play_formatting2.pdf
  • Scripts will be appropriate for a general audience. Feel free in your writing but any script with extreme foul language will not be considered.
  • Scripts are blind. That means your name cannot appear on your script. Our judges will score the scripts without knowing who the playwrights are or which schools they attend. Therefore your script will not include any form of identification, only the entry number provided by you to our website. (See instructions below.)
  • Scripts will include a character breakdown.z
  • Please thoroughly proofread and time your script.
  • Playwrights will be available to attend a staged reading on Sunday, March 3, 2024, at 3:00 p.m.
  • Rehearsals will be scheduled at Phillips’ Mill at a time and date to be determined between February 12-29, 2024. While not mandatory, playwrights are encouraged to attend these rehearsals.

Entry Fee

There is no entry fee for this competition. We ask only that you bring us your best work and enjoy the experience!

Entries

Entries will be received during the period of September 11, 2023 – January 15, 2024 midnight. Complete the online entry form below. You will provide a six-digit number of your own choosing. This is your entry number. This ensures that your work will be judged anonymously. The site will not accept submissions after 50 scripts have been received.

  1. Submit your script as a PDF file, using the unique entry number as the only identification of the author and as the name of the file.
  2. Once ready, you'll upload your submission using the entry form available below.
  3. Proofread your form and click on “Submit.”
  4. Once the submission is successfully received, you will receive an email confirmation of your entry details. Please note: If you do not receive your confirmation, please check your spam folder, in case it ends up there.

If you do not have access to a computer, arrangements can be made to accommodate your submission. Please contact us at drama@phillipsmill.org.

Awards

Judges will provide commentary on all submitted works. Each winning entry will receive a $100.00 cash prize and a staged reading before a live audience at Phillips’ Mill on Sunday, March 3, 2024, at 3:00 p.m. Co-authored plays will receive one cash prize to be shared by the authors.

  • PMCA will select directors and actors for the staged readings.
  • Winning playwrights must attend the staged readings on Sunday, March 3, 2024, at 3:00 pm, and participate in the moderated discussion with the audience after the readings.
  • Please note: the performance is a staged reading, not a production.
  • Parents, caregivers, families and friends are encouraged to attend.
  • In the event of inclement weather, all activities will move to the following week. An announcement will be made on the website if a weather delay is advised.

Submissions are now closed.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR
NEWSLETTER

Sign up to receive new and updates from the Mill.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form. Please try again.
Illustration of the Phillips' Mill -Artist: Kathie Jankauskus